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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Student Spotlight - Jumana, BSc Biomedical Sciences

We spoke to Jumana, who comes from Palestine about how she has found studying Biomedical Sciences at Queen Mary. She tells us about the exciting societies and volunteering she has been involved with her future plans to study medicine. 

smiling girl standing by wall with flowers

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary over other universities?

I chose to study at Queen Mary over other universities due to the fact it is one of the top universities in the world. Therefore, I knew the quality of teaching at this university would be exceptional.

Why did you pick this course?

I picked the Biomedical Sciences course in order to build a strong foundation before going on to study Medicine.

How did you find settling into Queen Mary/ the UK?

I settled into Queen Mary quite quickly. It only took me a little while to know the university and country by heart, and soon felt like I belonged.

How have you found the city and the surrounding area?

I absolutely love London. There is never a dull moment as I always found something to do. Before the pandemic, I was constantly attending the theatre, museums, cinemas and restaurants around the city with friends or even on my own. It was always so thrilling.

Do you think campus has an international feel? How does Queen Mary compare to where you are from originally?

The campus definitely has an international feel. Although I was in an international school back home,  the university’s campus allowed me to meet more people from various backgrounds. As a result, I never felt alone or like an outsider. Instead, I felt unique among other unique individuals from other interesting cultures.

What are your top tips for international students thinking about studying in the UK?

My top tip for international students thinking about studying in the UK is to go for it. Do not overthink the decision. It is always the right choice to step outside of your comfort zone and find yourself beyond what you were used to. Afterall, it will help you to grow and know yourself better.

How have you found the teaching, research, lecturers, course content?

I found the teaching at Queen Mary to be outstanding. Sitting in one lecture can clearly show you the passion lecturers have for the modules they’re teaching. Thus, you’re easily inspired to learn more and develop respect for subjects you never thought you’d care for before. Furthermore, the course content is quite extensive. Therefore, the content is so much more challenging and interesting in comparison to the content learnt in high school.

How have you found the support services and the facilities?

The support services and facilities have been easily accessible. Luckily, I’ve not needed to use those services and facilities thus far. However, I was always reminded that they were within reach and that I was welcome to use them. Therefore, I always felt safe and comfortable as a student at Queen Mary.

What do you think of the campus/es?

Besides the fact that I love how big the campuses are, I love the important history behind each building. It makes walking through the university so much more interesting. 

Have you used the Careers and Enterprise service? How has it benefited you?

I have used the Careers and Enterprise service all throughout the three years of my undergraduate degree. It was beneficial right from the start as I’ve tailored the service to my career plans. Therefore, I’ve received daily emails of work opportunities and possible career paths from my degree. As a result, I was able to apply for many jobs and prepare backup plans in case my medical career does not work out.

What has been your favourite thing about studying at Queen Mary?

My favourite thing about studying at Queen Mary has been the chance to meet many different people. From the various Professors that have taught me to the several students that I have become close friends with, I was able to grow as an individual. That has been especially significant to me as it taught me independence and open-mindedness.

What do you enjoy about your course and what has been your biggest highlight?

I enjoy the practicals provided in my course. They provide a realistic look into life as a practising Biomedical Scientist.  Therefore, the biggest highlight has been the Human Anatomy practicals we’ve had in which we were able to examine human cadavers in order to better understand the biological background of human anatomy.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering your course and Queen Mary?

An advice I would give to a prospective student considering my course and Queen Mary is to consider the modules and facilities a university and course provides. Queen Mary is the right place to study Biomedical Sciences because the broad range of modules and labs allow you to test out various career paths until you know exactly what you want to do in the future.

Are you a member of any societies, volunteering, or hold any part-time jobs, how have you found them?

At the start of my first year at Queen Mary, I signed up to the Buddy Scheme in order to have a mentor help me fit in. Through the scheme, I was able to meet a couple of students in my course from the year above. They introduced me to Aspire, a volunteering group to raise awareness towards disability sports. As a result, I became a volunteer. At the same time, I was the university’s Student Ambassador after I responded to an email from the university. When I progressed to the second year, I became the Vice President and Welfare Representative of Aspire.

Additionally, I took on an internship as a mental wellbeing mentor for high school seniors. I received the opportunity via an email from one of my course’s Professors. During my free time however, I was a media section writer for QMUL’s first magazine by students of colour, known as Diaspora Speaks. I also received via email a broadcast of the magazine’s search for writers. Currently, in my third year at Queen Mary, I became the media section editor of Diaspora Speaks. I also work for a local news site known as Al Arab in UK as a writer. I received the opportunity after being interviewed for passing a monumental motion at the university’s Annual Student Meeting.

What are your plans after finishing your course? / What do you want to do when you graduate?

After finishing my course and graduating, I’d like to study Medicine.

Any memories/final thoughts?

One of my best memories at Queen Mary was meeting my buddy from the Buddy Scheme. We met at one of the university’s coffee shops and she kindly passed on all her notes and textbooks from when she used to be a first year Biomedical Sciences student. I remember feeling very happy to be in Queen Mary and very happy that I had the chance to meet such incredible people that care for my progress through this course. 

Sum up your experience at Queen Mary in just four words:

Unforgettably inspiring and marvelous




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